Lately I’ve been thinking about booking our little family of four a new holiday – a proper family holiday this time as the last time was more of a mini one than anything as Daddy P didn’t come with us to Fuerteventura. LO, bump and I went around late January and it was lovely. The temp was nice, not too hot, we got to do a few things and enjoyed what was pretty much a chilled out holiday.
As I was six months preggers and so sure I would be going into early labour I didn’t book any activities. I also don’t drive so couldn’t hire a car which is said to be the best way to explore any one of the Canary Islands. However I just wanted to share with you the 5 most important things I think any mum should think about when taking your toddler on their first holiday.
1. Opt for short-haul instead of long-haul flights
For a first holiday you really don’t want to book anywhere too far. Firstly because children can be unpredictable and you don’t really know how your little one is going to react during flight. Our Fuerteventura flight was 3-4hrs which was perfect for us. Long-haul flights would be a little bit trickier especially with a toddler as planes are practically boring and there’s nothing really for them to do during flight.
To me, a bored toddler + around lots of people in a confined space + possible restlessness just spells out trouble!
2. Bring things that’ll keep them entertained
This includes an iPad (if they use one), activity books, cards, anything to grab their attention for as long as possible. We didn’t have our iPad back then but I did have my iPhone which I downloaded several episodes of his favourite Cbeebies shows on there (you’ll need to download the iPlayer app) and I also downloaded a lot of game apps for him to keep him pre-occupied.
3. Bring pull-up nappies even if your toddler’s potty trained
If your toddler is potty-trained but on some occasions still has accidents, definitely bring a pull-up nappy with you. On our flight home, LO fell asleep and when he woke up he was soaking wet because he’d weed himself during his sleep. Something he never normally does. He’s potty trained and rarely has accidents so it never occurred to me to bring a nappy… then that happened. I just felt sorry for him because it was partly my fault. I didn’t take him to the toilet before his nap because the queue for the toilet was too long. He didn’t drink much before his nap so I thought he’d was okay… clearly not. I won’t ever make that mistake again!
4. Choose somewhere that’s close to the beach and amenities (or rent a car if you drive)
If you want your holiday to be a breeze and super convenient, I think choosing accommodation where the beach is within a short walk away is best. On our holiday we never once used the hotel’s pool. The hotel had it’s own beach strip so we headed down there almost every day and LO loved it to bits. As our hotel was part of a large resort, we had a local supermarket on-site which was affordable and so convenient. If you drive, definitely think about renting a car to get around if you’re not near a beach or amenities.
If you’re planning on visiting Fuerteventura and staying in the Caleta de Fuste area, I definitely recommend looking at the Barceló Hotel resorts.
5. Don’t forget to pack your toddler’s favourite snacks
Something usually overlooked but trust me on this one – don’t forget your bubba’s favourite snacks and drinks. Sweets are optional. 🙂 When they’re cranky and don’t want to eat anything the snacks and juices will be a godsend.
Remember that if you’re only bringing hand luggage, you won’t be able to take drinks through security so buy them at Boots, Superdrugs, M&S (any store that sells kids juices) at the airport before you board your flight. If you’re flying with a baby, you will be able to bring on board (in your hand luggage) their ready-made milk, formula, and baby food.
I hope that helps!
If your little one already had their first holiday abroad, let me know what your essentials were and any products you couldn’t survive a plane flight without. 🙂
PS. Here are some of our lovely holiday snaps to Fuerteventura last January.